DIY Moving vs. Hiring Professionals: Pros and Cons of Each Approach

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Mar 8, 2024

Like most significant life events, moving to a new home is both exciting and stressful. The big question is — should you do it yourself? Should you hire professional movers? Which is the best course, and what should you even consider before making this decision? 

Below, we will take a look at all the pros and cons of a DIY move compared to hiring a professional company and list a few tips for making your relocation as smooth as possible.

Pros and Cons of DIY Move


  • More affordable: usually, DIY move is cheaper, even though not entirely without expenses.  For example, you may still need to hire a truck if you have to move a lot of belongings that cannot fit in your own vehicle. 
  • Full control: independent moving gives owners full control over their schedules and packing process. Besides, you can always make last-minute adjustments when necessary. 
  • More intimate: not everyone enjoys strange people around their personal things, and DIY move is the only way to ensure your packing and unpacking happens at your own pace. It is also a more engaged process that allows you to savor every moment of the event. 


  • Physical strain: even moving boxes of clothes can be physically demanding, to say nothing of the furniture (that sometimes needs to be navigated through narrow spaces or disassembled to fit into a staircase). DIY move requires a lot of literal heavy lifting, with loading and unloading often way heavier than it seems.
  • Time-consuming: packing can take astonishing amounts of time, especially when you have little experience. Besides, when you do not have a fixed deadline (for example, the date and time when a moving company should arrive), there is always a risk of delaying and ending up packing some things at the last minute. And understanding all of the psychological reasons behind delaying things is of little help in speeding up the packing. 
  • Damage risk: unless you regularly move from one place to another, you may be unaware of the best ways to pack belongings to prevent their loss or damage. The same goes for any furniture items that may need reassembling.
  • Hidden costs: even DIY moving is not entirely free. First, you may need to hire a truck or another vehicle to transport your belongings — and rates may differ from one company to another. Sometimes, you will also need to cover the mileage or gas expenses. But even without hired trucks, you may face other unexpected expenses — from the cost of packaging to insuring the transported items. 


All in all, a DIY move is a solid choice for people who are moving short-distance. It also makes sense to move independently when you have enough time on your hands — for example, your contract in one house/apartment is still valid, but you already have a new place to live. This way, you can take weeks to slowly drive all of your possessions to a new home, invite friends to help, and take your sweet time moving. DIY is a perfect choice for moving within the same city and on relaxed timeframes.    

Pros and Cons of Hiring Professional Movers


  • Less hustle: professional movers are more efficient; they have all the necessary equipment and experience to handle things that are often overwhelming for individual movers. They will have no difficulty packing and unpacking ‘challenging’ items that are either too bulky or fragile.
  • Time-saving: with professional movers, you will only need to pack a few personal belongings and leave the rest to the professionals. Packing all of the household items takes enormous amounts of time, which is not always an option in our busy lifestyles.
  • Insurance and safety: most reputable providers, like Bellhop or other companies that have been in the business for a while, keep working to maintain their reputation. This minimizes the risk of property damage, and even if something goes wrong (no one is 100% safe from an accident), you can always count on compensation. That may be a small consolation with some of the dearest things, but it’s better than nothing.
  • Multiple options to choose from: usually, there is more than one company operating in an area, so you will have a chance to study the competition anytime you hire a moving company and pick a provider that fully meets your demands. 


  • Higher cost: hiring a professional company is always more expensive than getting a truck and loading it all on your own. The costs can vary greatly from one company to another, so you should always compare different providers and study their rates and conditions. That may also take more time than you expect.
  • Less control over schedule and logistics: in some cases, this could also be a plus, but most people feel pressured when everything happens according to someone else’s rules. The upside is that you will also have less stress figuring out the logistics and schedule by yourself, but you will not be able to avoid all the stress. 
  • Trust issues: as already mentioned, most people are uncomfortable with strangers handling their things. You can alleviate this by packing the most personal belongings yourself and sealing the boxes. But you will still have to welcome the movers into your new home.


Hiring professionals is always more expensive, but you get to save time and physical effort. So, the real question is — what has more value for you, money or time? When the time is pressing (including for work and making more money), hiring movers is a better choice. Besides, you can always check competition rates anytime you hire a mover and choose companies that suit you best.

Working with a professional company is also a better choice when you move into a different city — compared to the hustle of hiring trucks or storage containers yourself, you may end up saving both time AND money when entrusting the whole matter to the professionals. As for strangers handling your personal things, the only tip here is to relax and let go. First, no move is stress-free. And second, handlers who regularly move other people’s things are hardly ever interested in the contents of those boxes — it’s just another day at work for them.

Bonus: More Tips for a Smooth Relocation

The list of tips for a stress-free move can go on for pages, but the essentials go down to:

  • Plan in advance: the sooner you start, the better because unexpected surprises happen all the time.
  • Declutter: moving to a new home is a perfect time to get rid of all clutter, so show old junk no mercy and just toss it away!
  • Pack personal things strategically: usually, movers do not pack your clothes and kitchen utensils, so this one is up to you in any case. Consider the things you will need last in your old home and items you’ll use first in a new one, and pack accordingly. 
  • Create checklists: not just for the movers, but also for yourself. This way, it will be way easier to get hold of everything you need when you need it. 
  • Rest well before the move: have a good night’s sleep and try not to stress too much. It’s true that no one moves without any stress, but you should still take care of yourself. 

No matter if you decide on a DIY movie or hire professionals, follow these simple tips to avoid unnecessary hustle. People relocate all the time — you’re not the first person to do it, and you will not be the last! 

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